Treats by Lara Williams


Emoji summary: ☁️☕️🛌

My boyfriend has been buying me books since we got together. if I ever moan that I am bored he just points at the reading list waiting for me next to the bed but uh, this is cause he reads a lot all of the time everywhere and I cant do that. i have hav to be in the right mood and pace. March has been a reading month tho 🌞. I have read easily, I have leant on books softly. I have fallen through stories, n my whole world has slowed down in a healthy, healthy way. I started with Miranda July’s No one belongs here more than you. Its little fictions, and the way she zig zags with words, feels like: hot ribena, like rubbing your eyes when you cry. the book is light sleep, speaking to yourself alone and casually ~ ~ ~ it’s towel sets, the radio ~ ~ ~ like eating a pear to remember what pears taste like. God no i actually loved every line of it thank u Miranda I will now read everything you’ve ever breathed. After that, I read Ben Brook’s Lolito. It’s v well written, and funny. when I started it i was worried about exposure to maleness like flat coke and all nighters, but it’s not pungent here/ it’s safe, embarrassing. I also started to read The Sellout by Paul Beatty but I am taking a pause 100 pages in because it’s v tangled and clever. I will come back to it when I want something that will soon have a sparknotes page so ok in the meantime:

i remembered that for valentines day my bf had bought me Treats, short stories by Lara Williams/ n I was like ok it’s thin lets give it a go. I took the book to the bath with a McDonalds cookie, as well as a bath bomb that turned the water around me yellow and oily, my nice McDonalds atmosphere. I read there, in a cafe the next day like the bougie art critic i am, and finished the collection in another bath the day after don't judge x. I read til the end only because I felt like I was tripping up on words and I wanted to write a review to make sense of y. A lot of the short stories feel like awkward heart to hearts with someone you don’t know well enough, say a co-worker at ur new job telling you about her divorce, various breakups, recent dating drama, omg, abortion ok let’s go there. You’ve only been at this job a week but it’s the christmas night out so u get dragged along, but sweatin smiling and nodding, you don’t quite care about the things this person is saying. I read Treats and didn’t feel energy towards the situations or characters. It’s not like these aren’t ripe moments in someone’s life as well, it’s not as though I’m apathetic to them. I wonder if it’s a problem of cliche in the content, carried through by the same handling of language and movement. ‘It felt shameful and as she stared at rich red blood pooling in her sanitary napkin she acquiesced to stop the slop at the source.’ In the abortion story, the girl feels sick afterwards and really wants ice cream, so her friend goes off to buy her ice cream. Some bundles like ‘… brilliant blue sky.’ Cliche is embedded, the amount of alliteration in the book stresses me out, it often sounds like was open in another tab. These are stories jus going through the motions.

I know that most of life is mediocre but in Treats mediocrity is resignation and it feels flat. Sad sepia girl in a cafe is on the book cover and it’s exactly the tone of the book. I liked one of the later stories, Sundaes At The Tipping Yard, because the language was sharp and the form of the short story felt like a real vignette, u could feel its edges. The writer obviously knows how to do a book. but I want to see what happens if they go in, grab things, take risks, write about the sky like a weird heaven, or about adultery like imaginative revenge plans and complete physical reactions. i want them to set fire to the words. I’d listen then. I wouldn't be smiling and nodding politely. id be wide-eyed and asking ‘shit then what????’ like a tru friend.

Treats is available to buy on Amazon here

gab holds the book over her legs in the bath, and the water is yellow like the word Treats on the book cover, a title above a woman sitting in a cafe with books in black and white